What Is Pickling Spice Made Of?
Pickling Spice: Your Secret Weapon for Flavorful Food Preservation!
When it comes to pickles, most people think of small pickled cucumbers—spears, slices, or whole. Pickles can be made of any variety of ingredient, though, and there are about as many pickling spice blends as there are pickling subject possibilities. Most spice blends do contain the same basic ingredients, a combination of dill seed, cloves, mustard, peppercorns, allspice, bay leaves, and salt. Coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and mace blade are also commonly found in blends.
One of our favorite versions of pickles is what we like to call, spiced taco pickles—made with our homemade pickling spice, carrots, onions, radishes, jalapeños, red and white vinegars, and cilantro. As the name suggests, they are fantastic on tacos but that doesn’t mean you need to reserve them for taco night alone! Try them on fajitas, omelettes, baked fish, antipasto trays, or anything your heart desires.
Since so many vegetables are beginning to grace summertime gardens, we thought many of our readers would appreciate our pickling spice recipe. Use it for classic dill pickles, your own batch of taco pickles, pickled asparagus for your next Bloody Mary, simple refrigerator pickles, or anything else that pickles your fancy (see what we did there?).
Feel free to use this as a base recipe. For a spicier pickle, just up the amount of pepper flakes used, add fresh chiles, or try one of our ground chile powders (try chipotle for a smoky pickle). We also like to load our pickles up with fresh garlic and will even occasionally add a sprig of lemongrass to the jar for a surprising twist and pickles that are a divine addition to dishes with Asian flare.
How To Make The Best Pickling Spice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 cardamom pods
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons whole allspice berries
- 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or ground chiles
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons dill seed
- 1 mace blade, broken into small pieces
- Break the cinnamon sticks into several small pieces, further crush using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
- Break open the cardamon pods to expose seeds
- Crush your bay leaves into small flakes
- Mix all of the ingredients together and slightly crush to release oils.
- For best results, use right away, or store this pickling spice as you would other shelf-stable spices.